The Great Lakes Water Authority is allocating more than $1.2 million to help customers cover their current and overdue water bills. About $794,000 is being given to Detroit residents and about $427,700 to Flint residents.
Jonathan Wheatley, public finance manager at the Great Lakes Water Authority, says they've assisted residents with funds from their Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP) over the past two years. This year, the funding is from the 2018 bill assistance funds for Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties.
It'll provide coverage for more than 15,000 WRAP-enrolled households below the poverty line.
“The funds that we have recommitted to the city of Detroit and the city of Flint have been fully utilized, so that's definitely a step in the right direction, that means it's being used by those participants that need it the most,” says Wheatley.
Wheatley says the program is open to applicants across the Great Lakes Water Authority's service area.
He says with the exception of Detroit and Flint, WRAP funds are allocated on a county-wide basis. The pool for each county is available to qualified WRAP participants in local communities that formally opt-in to the program.
Wheatley says the program has grown since its inception.
“We definitely see the need within the city of Detroit, the city of Flint. They fully commit their conservation and assistance dollars each year,” he says.